An Introduction to Dr Matteo Icardi; Assistant Professor in Applied Mathematics (Fluid Dynamics)
|A picturesque view of Torino, surrounded by its crown of Alps,|
with its Mole Antonelliana (on the left) and Monte dei Cappuccini (on the right)
Well, now you can see how much I am still connected to and passionate about my hometown and its gorgeous Piedmont region, although it has now been five years since I left it to live and pursue an academic career abroad. Luckily I have always been followed by my lovely wife and a growing family, which now sees three amazing little kids joyously occupying most of our free time.
My scientific career has been always torn between the passion for technology and innovation (my “engineering” soul) and the need of a deeper understanding and abstraction (my “mathematical” soul). Luckily when I started university in Turin I had the possibility to attend an unusual undergraduate course in Mathematics for Engineering, followed by a Master in Mathematical Engineering. During my university studies, I did a few internships and specialised in Computational Fluid Dynamics, and its connection with numerical analysis and multiphase flow modelling.
I then started a PhD in Chemical Engineering, fascinated by the idea of studying and simulating real complex flow problems and the sophisticated mathematical models to describe chemical reactors. After being awarded the PhD, I joined the group of Groundwater Engineering as a postdoc to work on pore-scale fluid dynamics models. After these experiences in Engineering, I ended up with the clear feeling that there were still too many conceptual open problems in these areas, and too often empiricism and lack of rigour in solving problems. I then felt again attracted by a deeper mathematical approach and thanks to an exciting offer from KAUST and UT Austin, I started my journey back towards Mathematics.
|Examples of virtually generated porous materials, used for my numerical simulation and upscaling studies.|
Left: grain packing. Right: Iso-surfaces of one realisation of a Gaussian Random Field
I spent three fantastic years between Saudi Arabia and Texas where, despite the heat, I learned to deal with complex modelling problems (in particular related to multiphase flows in porous media) with a “refreshing” approach, based on more rigorous notions of numerical approximations, model calibration and validation, and in particular uncertainty quantification. During these years I got to know many important scientists in the field of Applied Mathematics and Porous Media and continued to be involved in several industrial projects.
|Eigenfunction of the diffusion operator in a complex geometry,|
to understand polarisation effects in battery solid electrodes.
The spectral properties of PDEs can be used to derive reduced
In these first two months here in Nottingham I already found new collaborators, great colleagues and friends, and I could experience the great attitude towards interdisciplinarity at GERC and the university as a whole. Thanks to the great support of the GERC team, and the School of Mathematical Sciences, we have already worked together on two collaborative proposals to enrich the GERC network with new contacts in Europe and South America. I am looking forward to establishing new stable links between Mathematics and Engineering and helping to shape GERC’s future interdisciplinary and international vision.
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